The Archdiocese of Baltimore announced today that a fire destroyed the 133-year-old church located on the grounds of St. Peter the Apostle in Libertytown, Frederick County. No one was injured in the fire, which broke out shortly after 1 p.m. today. The cause is still under investigation.
Cardinal William H. Keeler, who is out of the country, contacted the pastor of St. Peter’s, Rev. John A Dietzenbach, V.F. to convey his sympathy and support to the St. Peter’s community.
“To you and all the parishioners of St. Peter Parish, Libertytown, I express deepest sympathy. I shall remember you especially in the Eucharist that I am celebrating this afternoon. God bless and sustain you all,” Cardinal Keeler said.
The parish of St. Peter’s was founded in 1821 and construction of the parish’s second church lasted from 1869-1871. Approximately 1800 families are currently registered with the parish. Masses will continue to be held in St Peter’s Parish Center.
“All the faithful of the Archdiocese of Baltimore are united in their prayerful support of the St. Peter’s family,” Bishop W. Francis Malooly, Western Vicar said. “The people of St. Peter’s have tremendous faith. I have no doubt that they will overcome this tragedy and continue thriving as they have the past 183 years.”